09 May 2011

Cheesecakes: Light & Asian-Inspired Workshop

Pardon for the absence once again, have been busy with many things, among which was following the Singapore General Election 2011, that just concluded early this morning. Made a short trip to Tokyo early this month too, to attend a Shinto Wedding. Shall update on that, and my other trips as soon as I can. Great, I seriously need to get my act together to blog more often huh?

Okay, enough of the ramblings. Attended a Cheesecakes: Light & Asian-Inspired Workshop by Chef Valerie Kong at Shernay's Cooking School last Friday. Chef Valerie is new to Shermay's Cooking School, and will have several workshops upcoming as well (have signed up for another one this coming Friday :p).

3 recipes were demo-ed during the 3hr workshop.
1) Japanese Cheesecake - soft, airy and moist, tangy tasting cheesecake.
2) Strawberry Hearts - buttery biscuit crust base, smooth cheese centre topped with a heart-shaped strawberry and red jelly.
3) Tofu Cheesecake  - made with cheese and real tofu, smooth and delicate cheesecake with crunchy biscuit base.

I guess many of the attendees signed up for the class because of the Strawberry Hearts, yours truly included :) Well, there are some recipes available on the internet, but I just wanted to have a foolproof recipe. And seeing the whole process would also make things easier right? Okay, I admit I was plain lazy.

Anyways, Chef Valerie was very friendly and clear in her instructions and gave many useful tips throughout the class. And like many female chefs, meticulous too (from the way she cut and arranged the strawberries and making sure each one looked perfect).

We tasted a slice of the Strawberry Hearts in class. It was pretty to look at and absolutely yummy. Crunchy base, smooth and creamy cheese centre, sweet and bouncy jelly topping with slightly tangy strawberry. I think this dessert would definitely be a party pleaser.
Just look at the strawberry hearts, weren't they pretty? Each piece looked almost the same. Well, lots of effort went into choosing and cutting of the berries.
3 layers of the strawberry hearts. The recipe is actually pretty simple but lots of labour of love required. Nevertheless, this is definitely on my top baking list (it doesn't even need to be baked :P).

The Japanese cheesecake was fairly easy as well. Egg whites beatened separately before mixing together with the batter to make the texture airier. The cake was light and moist but I felt that the lemon taste was a tad too strong.

Chef Valerie actually invented this recipe after tasting the one sold at Sun with Moon Restaurant. That was also where I had my first tasting of tofu cheesecake.

The tofu cheesecake was rich and creamy, and I absolutely loved the base which had crunchy caramel bits! A secret ingredient was added besides digestive cookies (psst... it was Werther's Originals caramel candies). She is a genius!

So far, I had tried 2 other recipes of tofu cheesecakes, one from Chef Keiko and the other from a blog. I must say, Chef Valerie's version is my favourite :)

Each participant also brought home a goodie pack of 2 pcs of tofu cheesecakes and strawberry hearts respectively, as well as a slice of the Japanese Light Cheesecake. I let dear son try all 3. He disliked the Jap cheesecake, I guess coz of the strong lemony taste. His favourite was the strawberry hearts, kept asking for more :) Well, I know which one to bake for him in future.


  1. is it possible to share the receipe on the strawberry hearts?

  2. Hi,
    Sorry that I can't post the recipe here coz it's under copyright by Shermay's Cooking School and chef. But you could refer to the following blog for a very similar recipe. http://epicurative.blogspot.com/2009/10/strawberry-jelly-hearts.html

  3. Hi, is it worth attending ? It really kinda expensive without hands in... Need ur advice whether if i should sign up

  4. Hi, for me, I like foolproof recipes and I do get lots of useful tips (not found in the recipe) from the chef when she was doing demo. There are recipes available on the internet, you can try them out first and if the results are to your satisfaction, then consider signing up.